Principles and Guidelines

What happens when a project application reaches Kindermissionswerk? What principles and guidelines apply to the projects we support?

© Kindermissionswerk
© Kindermissionswerk

Within Kindermissionswerk, a number of persons are involved in reviewing project applications. In addition to the country officers, other experts, e.g. for finance, health or construction, assess the corresponding project applications. Finally, a panel of experts from church related development organisations decides on the submitted project applications. This body, the Grant Allocation Committee, meets four times a year. Therefore, six months ought to be calculated for the processing of an application.

All applications are examined for their technical and financial viability. In addition, all applications for project support from Kindermissionswerk are assessed in view of the following principles and guidelines, which should be applied to all projects we support. 

Child protection

The welfare of the children who benefit from our projects is our top priority. Appropriate guidelines and measures must be in place to prevent abuse of children in its various forms. We require partners to have their own institutional child protection policy when applying for funding.

Details can be found in the Child Protection section.

For all projects, children and young people should be involved in project planning and implementation wherever possible.

Preventing corruption through transparency

You find our guidelines against corruption here. 

Like other areas of work that deal with funds, capital and personnel, development cooperation is prone to corruption. This applies to German players as well as those in partner countries. To ensure that all children benefit from our projects as intended, it is part of our work ethos to work against corruption and to deal professionally with potential misuse of funds and power.

Corruption can only be countered through the highest possible transparency from the application to the conclusion of the project, both in the offices of Kindermissionswerk and in the project itself. In Kindermissionswerk, clear decision-making structures based on sufficient information and the principle of dual control ensure the required transparency. From the project partner, this transparency requires that objectives, planning and financial requirements are clearly set out from the outset, and that there is ongoing accountability in an appropriate, comprehensible and verifiable form throughout the duration of the project. To this end, the project partner keeps documentation throughout the project period with all documents pertaining to the project, in particular the receipts of expenditure.

In addition to a detailed narrative and financial report, at the end of the project the project partner gives an account of the extent to which the goals set in the project application and the expected impact has been achieved and proves this by means of set indicators and meaningful reports. Likewise, the project partner indicates in his report how the success of the project can be guaranteed and verified in the long term. Partners who have failed to create the necessary transparency in previous projects, e.g. by not submitting any or only insufficient reports, can no longer be funded by Kindermissionswerk.

In cases of suspected corruption and if no other way is suitable, the ombudsperson of Kindermissionswerk can be contacted. The ombudsperson can be contacted by employees, donors, project partners and other persons involved in the work of Kindermissionswerk in the event that corruption is imminent or has already taken place at Kindermissionswerk or in a project supported by us.

Contact details of the ombudsperson:

Dr. Manfred Körber – personal

c/o Nell-Breuning-Haus Wiesenstr. 17

52134 Herzogenrath

Phone: 0049 - (0)2406 – 9558-17


Impact orientation

Projects and the related measures must be developed in view of their intended longterm impact. They must be aimed at the roots of the problems the project intends to address. 

In order to improve the lives of children and young people in a lasting, measurable and successful way, the projects supported by Kindermissionswerk must be impact oriented. Further guidance can be found in the section on impact orientation.

Grassroots orientation and subsidiarity

Projects should be based on a spirit of solidarity, be grassroots-oriented and preferably be rooted in the local community. The fight against poverty and the empowerment of individuals and communities should be guiding principles for all projects. 

In addition, projects should adhere to the principle of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity means that projects should be as close to the grassroots as possible to bring about the intended change, and that projects should be implemented by the smallest possible unit capable of bringing about the desired change.

Justice, peace and integrity of creation

The work of Kindermissionswerk is based on the rights of children and young people as laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1990. Specifically, this concerns their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and their basic needs such as nutrition, health, clothing, housing and education. The realisation of these rights is the prerequisite for children and young people to break the vicious circle of poverty. However, the long-term realization of these goals is not possible without justice, peace and a healthy environmen. Therefore, approaches that are rights-based and contribute to peace-building and environmental protection are given priority by Kindermissionswerk.


The aid provided by Kindermissionswerk is intended to make a lasting difference. Local project partners and their target groups should be empowered to maintain the innovations brought about by the project (programmes as well as infrastructure), and to take any further development into their own hands. This means that the projects supported by Kindermissionswerk are temporary in nature. Promotion of this self-reliance must be an integral part of project planning. Permanent dependence on foreign aid must be avoided. This also means that projects should be integrated into local church and civil society structures.

Parallel structures must be avoided. The structures created by projects should not and must not compete with existing institutions, but should create meaningful synergies with local structures. Project funding should make a significant contribution to a socially just economic development that is ecologically sustainable and efficient, always for the benefit of local children and youth.

Do no harm

All projects should be based on the do-no-harm approach. The do-no-harm approach focuses on the impact of projects and works according to the principle that humanitarian aid and development cooperation projects must never cause harm or exacerbate local conflicts. Therefore, possible non-intended effects must be identified both during project planning and over the course of the project implementation: Which target groups benefit from the project? How can negative effects be avoided and positive ones reinforced?

Further information on the principles of our project work can be downloaded here.